With songs washed in lo-fi greatness around every corner, lead singer Susanne Aztoria and her trio of supporting musicians have succeeded in doing something with Ester that several other bands embracing the lo-fi sound (and there have been a ton of them in the last two years) haven't done. They have allowed the focus to remain on the album's svelte genre diversity instead of creating songs that sound alike and struggle to find their own individual identity.
Opening with the acid jazz-inspired track "Rolling-Kiss the Universe," Ester takes subtle and inspiring turns into ambient rock on "You Wish You Were Red," island pop on "Dies in 55," and reaches a rousing apex on the seventh track "Candy Girl." A song that channels haunting David Bowie-esque pop over the bass line from Twin Peaks, "Candy Girl" may not immediately seem like the album's climax, but its sweet comforting approach makes it a track that listeners are likely to return to over and over again. Utilizing an array of electro-drum beats, Ester is an album for fans of Braids and Phantogram. And as a result of its slight style shifts between songs, this collection is the possible evolution for dark lo-fi music in 2012.